living the sweet life

Let’s Do Lunch: Veggie Quinoa Sliders

I made adorable little crispy veggie quinoa sliders.

It’s a fact that everything is cuter when in miniature. Babies? Way cuter than most adults. Plus even their tantrums could be considered cute. Once you grow up it’s just pathetic. Puppies and kittens? Generally cuter than dogs and cats (except for Molly – she’s always adorable). Mini cakes and cupcakes? Pretty darn cute. Miniature bowls and spoons? Cuter than huge dishware. So, by that logic, little quinoa sliders are definitely cuter than big burger sized patties.

Plus they’re tasty. It’s nice to have a vegetarian option that keeps well in the fridge for a few days. I hesitate to keep anything with meat (like the meatballs) in the fridge for longer than 2-3 days which leads to me freezing things and then defrosting it can take too long so I don’t eat it and it’s a vicious cycle. Just like my run-on sentences around here. Anyway, with all the veggies in there, I feel safer keeping these in the fridge for 4-5 days.

The balance of flavor is great. The heartiness of the quinoa mixed with the crunch of carrots, sweetness of the corn, and the saltiness from the olives meld together so well. If you don’t like olives, feel free to leave them out. I just couldn’t help myself. I literally eat them straight out of the jar. Oh, and make sure to use delicious rolls. Trader Joe’s has these parmesan rosemary rolls (8 come in a package which is perfect for this recipe) that are AH-mazing. Seriously. Tons of flavor packed into the little roll. Honestly, the only things I had to actually go out and get for this were the rolls and diced onions (I cheat a little here). Most of these things I had on hand, so feel free to customize and see what you might have in your pantry to use up.

These make a great little slider but I think you could honestly eat these sliders without the buns, on top of a salad, or however else you might consume something like this. I won’t judge. I just think carbs are king, that’s all.

Veggie Quinoa Sliders

makes 8 sliders

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 cup roasted corn (I used frozen)
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup green olives, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 egg
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3-4 tablespoons oil
2 cups crimini mushrooms
Fontina cheese, sliced
8 slider rolls

Cook quinoa according to directions. While quinoa is cooking, prep other ingredients. In a pan over medium heat, saute onions with a little olive oil until soft. Remove from pan and set aside. Add corn to the pan and cook until warmed through. Also remove from pan and set aside.

Once quinoa is done cooking, remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, roughly mash chickpeas. Add in quinoa, carrots, corn, onions, and olives, mixing to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a small bowl, beat egg and then stir in bread crumbs. Pour mixture into the bowl with the quinoa and mix until combined. Add parmesan cheese, giving everything one final mix. Form the patties using a 1/3 cup measuring cup, shaping them with your hand.

In a large pan over medium heat, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add a few of the quinoa patties (depending on the size of your pan) and cook until crispy and golden brown, roughly 4-5 minutes on each side. Make sure to be careful when flipping. Remove patties from heat, add remaining oil, and cook the rest of the patties.

To serve: In a large pan, saute mushrooms with some salt and olive oil until soft, about 4-5 minutes. Remove mushrooms from heat. Add quinoa sliders back onto the pan, add sliced fontina cheese on top, and warm until cheese is melted (I covered the pan to help speed this along). Cut rolls in half, add slider and top with mushrooms. Enjoy!

Note: If you’re not going to eat these all at once/if you’re planning to eat these for the week like me, cook all the quinoa patties and then store them in the fridge. When it’s time for lunch, simply heat the patties up in a pan with some olive oil until warmed through and crisped up. Then add the cheese and saute up some mushrooms.

[source: a Confectionary Tales original]

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